Personal Reflection – I Stayed in My Old Job for Far Too Long and Stunted My Potential

Don’t quit your job on a whim. I am not suggesting that you should quit your job, disrupt your income flow and ability to pay your bills, and upend your life because you feel like it. This is not a decision to take lightly. However, as I personally reflect upon on my life, I regret not leaving my previous jobs when I had the chance.

I spent too much time coasting, participating in the rat race, and never considering my own potential to work for myself. That is very easy to say for myself, but most people don’t have such options or the luxury of choice. Many people have families, mortgage payments, and other various bills. But that is part of the problems too.

Coasting Through Life

The average American makes about $47,000 annually, or about $80,000 if they possess advanced degrees. Most people get married, have kids, mortgage a house, get a car or two, and spend the rest of their lives paying bills. Is it wrong to say that there are enough people doing that and that we need more ambitious dreamers to take chances in business?

I had various, comfortable, boring jobs in academia. We live in an era where students bring their smart devices to class to source answers to their lessons. Or, they pay essay mills or facilitators to do their homework, as evidenced by the recent admissions scandal. I don’t mean to sound so cynical, but there are enough teachers and educational bureaucrats in life.

For a long time, I know I didn’t want to work in my career while I was employed in it. But I didn’t have the courage to leave and strike out on my own. Right now, I am a telecommuting writer. I travel the world. And, I am in the midst of planning the launch of my own company. As I settle into middle age, I can’t believe that I didn’t try to do this a decade or two ago.

It is the biggest regret of my life.

Changing Jobs to Change the Pace of Life

I wasted too much time. That is easy for me to say, I know. But if you are thinking about leaving your job for another, or to start working for yourself, here are some things to consider:

• Don’t burn any bridges because you never know if you’ll need to reach out to former employers or work mates
• Give sufficient notice
• Make sure you are not leaving sick days, vacation days, and any outstanding payments behind
• Changing jobs will allow you to challenge yourself and develop new skills
• Have a new job secured or be able to start a business for yourself before you quit
• Make sure you have some money saved before you quit

You may feel anxious, unmoored, and aimless for a while, which is natural. The only thing scarier than staying in a job you hate is realizing that you should have left after years or decades of employment. Life goes by fast, especially as we age, and sometimes we must create our own opportunities instead of waiting for them.

Read More

Why Is it Important Starting Your Business Now Than Staying in a Corporate Job?

Jobs That Thrive In a Bad Economy

Steps to Take After Losing your Job

Posted in: Business, Career, Career and Work, Philosophy

Top of page